Tom’s Tip of the Week: Week 26

Short and sweet – The shorter, the better.

long URL
tiny URL
Quickly turn a long URL into a simple, tiny URL
Perhaps you have noticed the address bar at the top of your browser window while you surf the internet. The address bar tells you the URL to the page you are currently looking at. A web address can be far too long to be typed with absolute accuracy. So what do we do when we must recite an address to someone as they type it? This can be very frustrating and will often cause a perfectly nice conversation to turn stressed and angry. It’s not what you want.

The a short answer to this long URL problem is

Step 1:
Copy the long URL:  Select the address in your browser’s address bar then press ‘Control+c’ or ‘Command+c’ on a Mac
Now you have copied the URL to your clipboard.
Step 2:
Once you arrive at click inside the box entitled “Enter a long URL to make tiny:” and then paste by pressing ‘Control+v’ or ‘Command+v’ on a Mac
Step 3:
Click the button ‘Make TinyURL!
Now, that long nasty URL is magically transformed into a manageable short URL that is easily recited to someone as they type it.

Tom’s Tip of the Week: Week 23

Who likes color? Make important Microsoft Outlook email stand out!

Read further and I’ll tell you how to color code email in your inbox and folders by creating folder views.

How great would it be if you could pre-format your email, making it easier to spot the important email? For example: Email from the boss: Red and Big. Email regarding the budget: Green. Current project email: Blue and Big. You get the picture.

Here are the basic steps
1. Create a new view, or modify an existing view
2. Add conditional formats to the view
3. Select your amazing new view
4. Gaze happily at your accomplishments

Open up Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013

Step 1: Create a new view
Select the ‘VIEW‘ tab
Outlook Views

Then select ‘Change Views‘ →’Manage Views…
Outlook Views Manage

Next copy select ‘Current View Settings‘ then click ‘Copy‘ (or select any other view you wish to copy)
Outlook Views Create

To finish creating the new view, give the new view a name and click ‘OK
Outlook Views Name

Now for Step 2 where you will add the filter criteria for the conditional format
Click ‘Conditional Formatting…
Outlook Views Options

Now we can add the filter. This is where you enter the rule to identify the email you want to automatically format.
Click the ‘Add…‘ button and name the new rule (e.g. Boss, Mary, Special Project, Bob)
After typing the conditional format rule name, click the ‘Condition…‘ button
Outlook Views List

Complete the fields on the ‘Messages‘ tab and the ‘More Choices‘ tab (start with a simple rule using only one criteria such as a From… email address or perhaps with specific words in the subject line) Click ‘OK‘ when you are finished
Outlook Views Filters

Outlook Views Filter

Next we can apply the formatting by clicking the ‘Font…‘ button
Outlook Views List

Go ahead, go crazy. We can make changes later.
Outlook Views Font

Click on all the ‘OK‘ buttons that are presented to you.

Step 3: Finally, select your new view with ‘Change View‘ on the ‘VIEW‘ tab.
Outlook Views Switch

Switch back to the Compact view if you want to see your email in the default font. Create as many views as you wish and perhaps in addition to Conditional Formatting… use the Group By… Sort… and Filter… options as well for more great views.

By the way, if you have regrets after tinkering with the default views of Outlook, you can always use the ‘Reset View’ button.

Custom views can be built in Outlook Email, Calendar, Tasks and Contacts. Now you too can be a View Master.

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